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Our History

Military medicine has a long and celebrated history. We apply lessons from our past to improve the care of military personnel and their families today and in the future. New surgical techniques, powerful painkillers, antibiotic drugs, and triage and evacuation procedures have revolutionized military medicine.

In this section, you'll find featured stories and information about the history of military medicine.

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Article Around MHS
Dec 15, 2023

Passing the Guidon: A Ceremony of Leadership Transition at Uniformed Services University's Change of Command

Uniformed Services University's Brigade Commander U.S. Army Col. Patrick Donahue relinquished command to U.S. Army Col. Albert Kinkead on Dec. 1, 2023, at the change of command ceremony in the university's Rice Hall. (Photo by Tom Balfour/Uniformed Services University)

Uniformed Services University's Brigade Commander U.S. Army Col. Patrick Donahue passes the guidon to U.S. Army Col. Albert Kinkead, symbolizing a change of command and celebrating Donahue's distinguished 30-year career, as the university looks forward to a new chapter under Kinkead's leadership.

Article Around MHS
Dec 11, 2023

Florida Guardsman Receives U.S. Surgeon General’s Highest Civilian Honor

In this time of unprecedented global health challenges, frontline responders like U.S. Air Force Maj. Kevin Tipton stand out as beacons of hope and resilience. Tipton, a critical care nurse practitioner with the 125th Fighter Wing of the Florida Air National Guard, received the Surgeon General’s Medallion from Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, the U.S. ...

Article Around MHS
Nov 20, 2023

Armed Services YMCA Recognizes U.S. Army “Angel of the Battlefield”

The U.S. Army recipient of the 2023 Armed Services Angel of the Battlefield award is U.S. Staff Sgt. Ta'Quesha Abson, currently assigned to the Medical Readiness Brigade, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. (Photo by Ronald Wolf, U.S. Army Medical Command)

Each year the Armed Services YMCA presents the “Angel of the Battlefield Award” to a heroic enlisted medical professional from each branch of the Armed Services. For 2023, the Army recipient of this award was U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ta'Quesha Abson, currently at the Medical Readiness Brigade, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Article Around MHS
Oct 4, 2023

Stemming the Tide: Navy Medicine and the Egyptian Cholera Epidemic of 1947

Over three months, cholera spread across 2,270 towns and villages in Egypt killing over half of its victims. According to one estimate over 20,000 Egyptians died of cholera. (Graphic by Andre Sobocinski)

On September 21, 1947, a man was admitted to the Al-Qurayn (El Korein) Hospital in Egypt vomiting profusely and suffering severe diarrhea. Within hours, he was dead. The attending physician on duty first suspected food poisoning before 11 additional patients were admitted with identical symptoms. Their diagnosis was cholera, a deadly bacterial disease ...

Article Around MHS
Sep 8, 2023

‘Harry Bluff’ and the Curious Origin of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery was established on Aug. 31, 1842, by a Navy appropriations bill passed by Congress. (Photo Courtesy of U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery)

As Bureau of Medicine and Surgery celebrates its 181st anniversary on Aug. 31, learn about the curious origin of the forgotten Navy bureau system. On this date in 1842, Congress passed a Navy appropriations bill establishing five bureaus to oversee Navy Yards and Docks; Construction, Equipment, and Repair; Provisions and Clothing; Ordnance and ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 16, 2023

Battle of Guadalcanal: 81st Anniversary of Operation Watchtower

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Andrew Stofila, right, and Sgt. Brandford Asomaning Jr., both with Task Force Koa Moana 23, participate in the color guard during the 81st Anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal ceremony at the Guadalcanal American Memorial in Honiara, Solomon Islands, on Aug. 7, 2023. The Battle of Guadalcanal, also known as Operation Watchtower, was a seven-month campaign that marked the first allied land offensive in the Pacific theater in World War II. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Courtney G. White)

“We struck at Guadalcanal to halt the advance of the Japanese. We did not know how strong he was, nor did we know his plans. We knew only that he was moving down the island chain and that he had to be stopped,” said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Alexander A. Vandergrift. Guadalcanal at 81.

Article Around MHS
Aug 14, 2023

Senior Warrant Officer Awarded Soldier's Medal for Saving Lives

U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Nigel P. Huebscher, command chief warrant officer for the 1st Aviation Brigade, speaks after receiving the Soldier's Medal for risking his life to save others during a ceremony at Fort Novosel, Alabama, on Aug. 7, 2023. (U.S. Army photo by Kelly Morris)

When mere seconds mattered, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Nigel P. Huebscher, command chief warrant officer for the 1st Aviation Brigade, was first on the scene of a house fire near Bonifay, Florida, on Oct. 9, 2022. He helped save the lives of two residents.

Article Around MHS
Aug 11, 2023

Army Medical Corps Provides Continuity of Care for 248 Years

Ensuring trained and ready medical forces, particularly combat trauma surgeons, is critical to support soldiers and other service personnel in combat. Army medicine is using individual critical task lists, centrally managing trauma surgery personnel and assets, and building military-civilian partnerships with civilian level I trauma centers to ensure surgeons are getting the experience needed for battlefield surgery. (Photo: Ronald Wolf/U.S. Army)

Only 43 days separate the creations of the continental army that was formed by the original 13 American colonies and the Army Medical Corps. That short period of time speaks to the importance the corps plays in the mission of the Army.

Last Updated: March 06, 2024
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